Responsible business in the community means understanding the social issues with which our business is most closely aligned and putting in place the programmes to address them.
Our community investment strategy is to focus on education and the communities local to our operations. This reflects the skills, expertise and experience we have within the business, presenting opportunities to leverage these alongside financial donations.
The focus of our educational programme is educational disadvantage and attainment. A real and pervasive issue in the markets in which we operate which perpetuates inequality and diminishes opportunity.
We value the benefits that our involvement in the community brings to our business in the areas of learning and development, employee engagement, and Pace's profile in the communities in which we operate.
We have adopted a partnership approach to community investment, recognising the value that our partners bring to understanding and staying abreast of issues and developing and implementing solutions.
Pace has developed a long‑term relationship with social enterprise Ahead Partnership, who it has been supporting since 2010. In this time Pace has funded development work required to create the widely acclaimed Make the Grade programme cited as an example of best practice by Lord Heseltine and continues to support this programme.
Make the Grade has benefited over 13,544 students with 96% reporting they felt individual activities met the learning outcomes and 88% reporting that the activity was useful in helping them think about the future. Make the Grade has also benefited 2,686 volunteers with 86% of volunteers reporting they felt they had improved communication skills, coaching skills, motivation and presentation skills as a result of the activities.
For the year ahead the plans are to support work on the development of a digital and technology sector-specific approach and to start work in the Bradford area.
Teach First is a national education charity working to ensure that every child has access to a brilliant education, regardless of their background. It recruits and trains inspirational teachers in schools, builds the skills and confidence of talented young people on the cusp of making life-changing decisions about their future and cultivates other game‑changing solutions to help ensure young people from low-income communities can succeed. They are the largest graduate recruiter in the country, with almost 1,500 high potential leaders starting the programme in 2014, all working towards a day where no child’s educational success is limited by their socio-economic background.
Pace has worked with Teach First since 2011, helping to change the life chances of over 3,500 children by supporting 24 exceptional teachers in their schools. This year, Pace is funding two teachers in Bradford and providing six coaches who will work one to one with teachers on the Teach First programme, supporting them with advice and guidance on their leadership journey.